A 21-YEAR-OLD man who pleaded guilty to rapewas placed on a two year probation order and will serve 100 hours of community service.
No conviction was recorded against the man, who was 15yearsoldwhen he fingered the victim for several seconds while she was asleep in her bed some timebetween August 18, 2010, and August 23, 2010.
In the Mount Isa District Court last Friday,Judge Ian Dearden said the lengthy delay between the crime and sentencing was due to the man telling lies to the police.
“Had you been an adult when you committed the offence there is no doubt in my view you would be going to jail today (Friday),” Judge Dearden said to the manwhile passing sentence.
“In those few seconds you caused an enormous amount of pain, grief and heartache.
“Each of you will bear the effects of your conduct –not hers, yours –for the rest of your life.”
But the man had no other sexual crimes against him in his criminal history –the last breaking and entering charge was in 2012.
“I’m prepared to give you a chance,” the judge said.
Director of Public Prosecutions prosecutor Elizabeth Kelso saidthevictim told her school counsellorwhat had happened, andshortly after doing soreported it to the police.
The man denied the charge when police first interviewed him, Ms Kelso said.
“He said he was working at a cattle station at the time, and was released without charge,” Ms Kelso said.
It was only after the man was released that police investigators realised that he was not working at the cattle station at the time he was accused of rape.
But it took until December, 2015, five years after he raped the victim, for him to be located and charged. The man then admitted what he had done.
Ms Kelso said that through conditions of the Youth Justice Act the defendant had to be charged as an adult, although prosecution did acknowledge he was a juvenile at the time the rape happened.
Barrister Charlotte Smithsaid the defendant was“very embarrassed, ashamed and remorseful”. He was pursuing a career as a ranger.
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